Student in Olisa Library, Fitzwilliam College Cambridge

Applying: Guide for prospective applicants

The application process 

Step 1: Consider a course 
First step is to choose a course, you can study all of Cambridge’s undergraduate courses at Fitzwilliam College. Our courses are generally broad in the first year, becoming more focused in later years. Find out more about the courses you can study at Fitzwilliam College here.

Step 2: Choose a college  
At Cambridge, as well as being a member of the University, you're also a member of a college. Once you have decided on a course you’d like to study, you need to consider a college choice. Colleges are where students tend to live, study and socialise. Find out more about UG life at Fitz.

Step 3: Apply to Cambridge 
The University of Cambridge has an earlier application deadline to that of other universities. UCAS applications must be submitted online by the 15 October. In your UCAS application, as well as listing Cambridge as one of your options in the 'Choices' section, you'll need to enter the College you would like to apply to. 

Shortly after submitting your UCAS application, you'll be asked via email to complete an online Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). In order to make a valid application to the University of Cambridge, you must submit your SAQ by the deadline set. 

For important dates and deadlines following your application to Cambridge, please click here.

Personal statements

Personal statements allow students to tell us about their subject interests, students are advised to follow the UCAS advice about what to include in their personal statement

Find out more about what we are looking for in your personal statement.

Written work

Applicants may be asked to submit examples of their written work from a relevant A Level/IB (or equivalent) course. Information on which courses require submitted work can be found on each individual course page. We will advise you on what sort of written work we require, where it should be sent and deadline of submission. You can find more information about written work here.

Admissions assessments

Most applicants are required to take a subject-specific written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at interview. More information about the Admissions Assessments can be found here.

See the University of Cambridge course information for details of the associated assessments. Dates for applying for these assessments can be found in our important dates timeline.

The interview process at Fitzwilliam College

Interviews have to be challenging, and you can expect to be asked testing, thought-provoking questions. The interviewers will invite you to speculate, to think on your feet, to discuss problems to which there are often no easy or neat solutions. We are interested in your ability to think for yourself, not in how much you can remember.

We know that candidates are nervous, and make allowances for this. We want you to feel confident enough to express your own views and talk about your own interests. The whole point of interviews is to give the interviewers a sense of the individuality and potential of each student - something that no exam paper can reflect.

Most candidates have two interviews. Each lasts about half-an-hour. One will be with the Director of Studies who is responsible for that subject in the College, the other with College teachers in a related subject. Both will focus on your academic interests but will range widely around that, depending on subject.

Most interviews take place in the first three weeks of December and prospective applicants are advised not to make any unbreakable commitments during this period. All interviews will take place remotely for those applying in 2020.

Preparing for your interview 

Information regarding how to prepare for an interview can be found on the University’s undergraduate website.

Financial support for interview travel costs

In years when interviews take place in Cambridge, we are pleased to provide support for travel costs to students who are in local authority care and/or are currently in receipt of free school meals and who attend a UK maintained sector school/college. If you are eligible for support with travel costs you will be sent an email with information on how to claim a reimbursement prior to your interview. 

Extenuating circumstances form

If there are extenuating circumstances that have caused significant educational or home life disruption or disadvantage for a student, it may be appropriate for the school/college referee or the applicant’s doctor or social worker to complete and submit the Extenuating Circumstances Form (ECF).

More information regarding the ECF and deadlines for submitting the form, can be found on the University’s undergraduate website.  

Organ scholarships and Choral awards

Fitzwilliam College awards up to 14 scholarships for music, find out more here.

Mature students

If you'll be aged 21 or over by 1 October in the year in which you hope to come to Cambridge and you haven't already completed a higher education course, then you'll be applying as a mature student. Fitzwilliam College welcomes applications from mature students. 

The application process for mature students is the same as that for standard-age students, find out more here.

Affiliated students

Graduates of other universities may be admitted to Cambridge as Affiliated students. Affiliated students take the more advanced parts of a Cambridge degree course and qualify for the BA degree in two years, instead of three. At Fitzwilliam they enjoy both undergraduate and postgraduate privileges.

Applicants should have achieved or be in the process of achieving a First-class degree in their undergraduate studies at their first university. Affiliated applicants must make an application through UCAS and must demonstrate that they are able to cover the financial costs of attending the University as the College is unable to provide any financial assistance. For further information, please contact our Admissions Office -

International applications 

Fitzwilliam College is a great place to be a student and has a truly diverse community. The University of Cambridge International Applications website provides information for international students on applying to Cambridge.

We accept a wide variety of qualifications from all over the world, if you have any questions regarding your international qualifications please contact our Admissions Office –